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Part Four: Finances

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In this section you’ll be asked to estimate how much money the local government you work for spent, saved, and received because of the environmental efforts listed in this survey. Please use your best judgment, and complete this section even if you have to guess. Remember that all your answers will be treated confidentially, and that answers to all the questions are required.


To the best of your knowledge, the local government you work for...

38. ...spent how much to implement and administer the environmental efforts listed in this survey, in the most recently completed fiscal year? Please estimate these expenditures (e.g. staff time and equipment) as well as you can.
in $ (dollars)
 
39. How sure are you that your estimate is within 10% of the real figure?
Very sure
Fairly sure
Neutral
Fairly unsure
Very unsure
 
40. Do you estimate these expenditures increased or decreased between the year of your estimate and the year just before?
Increased
Decreased
 
41. By what percent do you think these expenditures increased or decreased? Again, use your best judgment.
in % (percent)
 
42. ...saved how much by implementing and administering the environmental efforts listed in this survey, in the most recently completed fiscal year? Please estimate these savings (e.g. reduced maintenance and energy bills) as well as you can.
in $ (dollars)
 
43. How sure are you that your estimate is within 10% of the real figure?
Very sure
Fairly sure
Neutral
Fairly unsure
Very unsure
 
44. Do you estimate these savings increased or decreased between the year of your estimate and the year just before?
Increased
Decreased
 
45. By what percent do you think these savings increased or decreased? Again, use your best judgment.
in % (percent)
 
46. ...received how much by implementing and administering the environmental efforts listed in this survey, in the most recently completed fiscal year? Please estimate these revenues (e.g. external grants, fines, in-kind donations) as well as you can.
in $ (dollars)
 
47. How sure are you that your estimate is within 10% of the real figure?
Very sure
Fairly sure
Neutral
Fairly unsure
Very unsure
 
48. Do you estimate these revenues increased or decreased between the year of your estimate and the year just before?
Increased
Decreased
 
49. By what percent do you think these revenues increased or decreased? Again, use your best judgment.
in % (percent)
 
50. What percentage of these revenues came from non-governmental sources? Please give your best estimate.
in % (percent)
 

 

ON ESTIMATING

Quick, back-of-the-envelope estimates are good enough!

E.g., you might guess it takes 10 full-time staff to implement and administer the efforts listed in this survey. If you assume your local government spends an average of $200,000 for each full-time staff member, including benefits, that would be $2 million. And you might guess that other expenses – contractors, resources, oversight – add 50%, yielding a final estimate of $3 million.

You don't have to provide verified figures. Just use your best judgment to provide quick, thoughtful estimates.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What about environmental efforts that aren't listed in this survey? Should I include them in my estimates?

A: NO. Your estimates should only reflect the environmental efforts listed in this survey.

Q: What if the government I work for received a grant, but hasn’t spent it yet? Should I include it in my revenue estimate?

A: Yes - as long as it's received because of – or for the purpose of – one of the environmental efforts in this survey, and within the last fiscal year.

Q: What if the government I work for saved money from an activity we completed years before – like a switch to LED lighting? Or spent money on something that hasn't saved us any money yet, but will in the long term?

A: Your estimates should be limited to the last fiscal year. Anything beyond that shouldn't be included.

Q: What if the government I work for received AND spent a grant within the last fiscal year?

A: Include the amount received in your revenue estimate, and the amount spent in your expenditure estimate.


 


The 2014 Local Environment Survey is part of a larger research effort, affiliated with University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs. The purpose of this research is to better understand what local governments in the United States are doing to protect the environment, and why. Only a few local governments have been selected to participate in this survey, so your participation is valuable.

If you have any questions or concerns about this research, you can contact the lead researcher (Ryan Bodanyi) at (401) 829-6192 or by email.

Last updated: May 21, 2014